Educating children requires a good dose of intuition but it is often not enough, especially when bad behaviors appear that we want to eradicate. Formerly it was said that “the letter with blood enters” and they bet on punishments, even physical , to shape the behavior of children. However, today we know that punishments are counterproductive and can leave deep traces in the emotional sphere, so it is preferable to resort to rewards.
Obviously, it is not possible to educate only on the basis of rewards since these also contain a certain dose of risk, especially if we do not know when is the right time to give the rewards or if we get used to the child to move just because he knows that later a present. Rewarding is better than punishing, but it must be done with measure because rewards are a double-edged sword.
Reward the child for a specific behavior
Parents often think it is important to reward the child for good behavior. And they are right, but rewarding good behavior can lead to multiple interpretations. For this reason, it is best to reward specific behaviors, such as having done a school project, having cleaned the room without being asked, or having helped clean the garden.
Reward him immediately after good behavior
If you reward your child before doing a good deed, the reward will turn into a bribe and you are teaching him to blackmail you. In fact, it is not even convenient that you motivate him by saying that when he finishes he will be rewarded, you must give him the award without having anticipated it.
Prizes should not always have a monetary value
Parents often associate a prize with a gift, but this doesn’t always have to be the case. In fact, it should not be like that because in this way you will only be promoting materialistic values. You can reward him with family activities, such as walking in the park or riding a bike, or even with a few simple words of congratulations or a special dessert.
Reward small goals too
Most parents reward good results when a stage is over, such as when the school year comes to an end. However, it is important to convey to children that sometimes the result is not as important as the effort. Therefore, it is not always necessary to wait for the final stretch, sometimes it is much more educational to reward the effort you have made.
Look for the right rewards
Not all rewards work the same for all children, it depends on the preferences of each one and the things they crave the most. You can’t reward your child with a candy that he hates or a toy that he finds boring. Before choosing the reward, think about the things or activities that you really like and can motivate you.
Don’t reward all behaviors
Rewards cannot become the only educational strategy because, in the long run, they will become habitual and will lose their motivational value for the child. It’s best to use gifts and compliments occasionally. Therefore, use rewards only to reward tasks or behaviors that have required a real effort or that have performed well.